NY Times Electronic Options

As long-time readers of my blog know, I’ve played with many different ways to read the New York Times electronically. There may be even more choices, but here are the ones I’ve used:

  • iPhone app
  • Amazon Kindle
  • RSS (using Google Reader in my case)
  • Electronic Edition (using iBrowse)
  • Times Reader

A year ago I bought a Kindle, and thought that was a pretty good solution. The only problems were (a) browsing the paper was a bit slow, and (b) I couldn’t see those great (often color) NY Times graphs and charts. I really missed them. I ended up selling the Kindle for $200 more than I paid because the physical device drove me nuts. I’m hoping the 2.0 Kindle is better in terms of buttons along the right-hand edge, etc., because I really like the Kindle concept.

When the 2.0 iPhone came out, I canceled my print subscription and  read the entire paper on the iPhone for a few months. The app has always been buggy for me. It crashes literally every few minutes. But again the concept was good. Remarkably easy to read full-length articles on such a small device. Missed those graphics, though, so I broke down and re-instated my print subscription.

Throughout all of this I subscribed (and still subscribe) to the NYTimes Technology RSS feed simply because that gets me stories a bit more quickly than by other means. But I don’t read other sections in that manner. Great for headlines but not as satisfying for reading the entire paper.

Now I’m away from home for two weeks and my print subscription is on vacation hold. Print subscribers have two more options. First I tried the Electronic Edition. The one cool thing it ofers is the ability to see entire pages in much higher quality than on newsprint. It’s a bit shocking to see the type, graphcs, photos and ads (wow, the gorgeous ads!) in high-res format. But the Electronic Edition is literally an electronic version of the hardcopy paper in page-layout format. So if you start an article on page 1 and it’s continues on page 8, you have to break up your reading just as you do with a hardcopy paper. Seems so “non-electronic” in that sense.

But I’ve now settled on the Times Reader, paticuarly since they released a Mac version earlier this year. Its’s truly electronic in that it’s organized article-by-article rather than page-by-page. And the articles are large and very easy to read. Nice and crisp on a laptop display, and perfectly formatted for that size screen. Most of the grahics are within the screens, although some are a click away. It’s a very responsive app, with pre-caching apparently running in the background. And perhaps best of all, it will download an entire edition that you can read it entirely off-line. Seven-day archive, too.

So as of now, I’m reading The New York Times using the Mac version of the Times Reader, and I’m generally quite happy with the solution.

What about you? What have been your experience with these and other electronic alternatives to the hardcopy Times?

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